Having sat through films like Salo, Irreversible and Audition it has come to pass that it takes a lot to truly shock me in the world of film making. Wake in Fright managed to come close to this in the, rather infamous, kangeroo hunting scene. I’ll leave this for now and will touch on this later in the write-up.
Wake In Fright goes to prove a number of things I have taken to be true. Many teachers are trapped and are looking for a way out, get a large group of guys together and bad things happen and that machismo is fucking awful.
I would like to think that this depiction of an isolated outback town is an exaggeration. That this excessive gambling and feeling of affront that accompanies the refusal of being bought a beer is just fiction. Who are we actually kidding though.
In many ways, Wake in Fright is a horror movie in the same way that Deliverance is also a horror movie. It is a deeply disturbing trek into the psyche of isolated men who pretty much have carte blanche and a lot of cheap beer.
This brings me to the hunting scene. I mean, what can I say about this incredible barbaric and very much real scene depicting the slaughter of kangaroos. It was horrible knowing this all actually happened, and that there were kangaroos that were shot and managed to bound away with their intestines hanging out. Humans suck. Like really and truly suck. And yet I probably cringed more at Blood of the Beasts… which goes to how bad that film actually was.
This film is not for the faint-hearted. The depiction of a teacher being sucked into the underbelly makes for a really interesting picture. Same for how the machismo and gambling losses just ruin people. I just wish so many kangaroos didn’t have to die in order for this point to be made…